What happens when sleepy drivers crash?

On behalf of Clancy Law

With spring moving to summer, there are many more hours of sunshine for people to enjoy the country by having road trips. However, this also increases the danger of vacationers being involved in drowsy driving accidents.

These types of crashes refer to drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel or are so fatigued that they cannot make split-second decisions to avoid crashes. The exact numbers on drowsy driving are not easy to quantify, even though statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that more than 11,000 people have been killed in accidents involving fatigued drivers in the last 10 years.

But what happens when sleepy drivers cause accidents? First and foremost, they can be held liable for the injuries (and property damage) caused by the crash. Under Illinois law, all drivers have a duty to use reasonable care to operate their vehicles in a safe manner.

This duty also extends to drivers making certain that they are awake and alert enough to respond to hazards (as well as not to create them). In the same way that drivers should not drive while impaired by alcohol, they should not drive if they are so fatigued that their senses are compromised.

This duty also applies to drivers of semi-trucks and commercial buses. Federal law provides hours of service rules to prevent tired drivers from causing accidents. Essentially, commercial drivers may not drive more than eight hours each day and must take at least a 30 minute break during that time.

Nevertheless, drowsy driving accidents still occur. If you have been hurt in such an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help.

Source: AP.org, Drowsy driving remains an elusive highway dilemma, May 11, 2013

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What happens when sleepy drivers crash?